Dublin police and the Dublin school district are warning parents about the risks involved if any of their high school-age students participate in the "Assassin" game.
In a joint statement, Police Captain Garrett Holmes and school district spokeswoman Michelle McDonald said students face possible legal and disciplinary action if any weapons, even imitation guns associated with the game, are brought onto school campuses or if evidence is discovered that the game is being played at school.
"The school administration is very concerned about the safety of our students and thus, collectively, is informing parents and students about the risk associated with these activities," said McDonald, the school district's Public Information Officer.
In the game, teams of seniors are assigned "targets" whom they have to "assassinate" using toy Nerf-type guns that fire foam darts.
Each participant pays to play and after several rounds and several weeks of play, the winner is the last person standing.
This activity is of significant concern, McDonald said, because students have, in the past, engaged in risky behaviors for the sake of the game.
Some examples of dangerous behavior in previous years, Holmes and McDonald said, include:
Painting or disguising weapons to make them look more realistic;
Reaching for concealed weapons in public places;
Lying in wait behind bushes, trash cans, vehicles or fences;
Accessing or hiding on the property of another, often late at night;
Waiting for a target while dressed in all black or camouflaged clothing;
Reckless driving to avoid being targeted;
Car loads of teens driving around "stalking" or "hunting" their targets;
Jumping out of moving vehicles to attack or flee from other participants;
Conducting a "drive by" shooting of a target in a parking lot or public street.
When viewed through a non-participant's eyes, the behaviors look and have all the elements of an actual threatening or violent event unfolding. They often prompt multiple calls to the police who respond to what they believe to be a violent incident in progress.
Not only does this consume significant time and resources of emergency personnel, it also jeopardizes the safety of our community when actual threats cannot be responded to in a timely manner, Holmes explained.
"Furthermore, in the eyes of a startled homeowner protecting his or her family or property, a violent response to a player is quite possible, he added.
"Parents and students need to be aware that this activity can look like a realistic violent crime," he added. "If a police officer or another
person is injured during the response to that incident, the people involved, including the parents of the minor taking part, could be held liable."